My last post on Beadfest beads was filled with photographs of colorful beads. This one on what I bought is a little duller – monochromatic as I mostly bought metal or metallic paints. You can buy anything and everything you want while Shopping in USA but when you are on an extremely tight budget, shopping for art or jewelry supplies can be considered a frivolous pursuit. Still, I managed to shop and here is my haul – artsy/crafty and jewelry related things that I bought at Michaels and at Beadfest. Apart from these items I shopped only for food, Disney souvenirs, and yes “Foreign” Chocolates to feed 100 hungry mouths back home 😀
Outside the US, the word ‘Michaels’ conjures strong images of a treasure filled cave like structure (from Alladin) in the minds of crafters. You imagine endless aisles of crafting supplies that are to be reverently bought and carefully used. So when you step in to the store, it is a sort of an anticlimax moment – it is after all, just a craft store, that is going to tempt you to spends three times your budget.
I loved the flowers and art materials (at the King of Prussia store) but felt that the beads were far too expensive. Most beads sold there are from India or China and even at 50% off they were atleast twice their original price. So I bought some artistic wire, wire gauge, mini canvases, Prismacolor pencils for coloring on metal, Pebeo paints (my biggest splurge there), metallic alcohol inks, some rhinestone connectors and metal texturing plates. I also found a really cute Mickey – Minnie T shirt in the kids coloring section for $3.5 that was surprisingly well made and I wore it to Disneyworld.
My friends later told me, that they never shop at Michaels without a coupon. I didn’t have one, so I checked the price of everything in Indian web stores, their availability or lack thereof and only when I found a bargain I bought it. I swear I have never made so many currency conversion calculations in a single day at the end of which I became fluent in the multiplication table of the number 69. Inspite of my crazy calculations, I still spent about $132 there, which was 2/3rds of my shopping budget for the entire US trip. I left Michaels thanking God for wonderful relatives, who believed in giving me cash gifts, that I could spend on art supplies.
Since I was at Beadfest the entire weekend, I was able to look through the booths more than once which translates into – going overboard my budget even though a lot of what I wanted to buy wasn’t available to. My first bead purchase were the decoupaged and resin beads. I have great plans for the Frieda beads and the banana fiber horn. I bought a Xuron cutter for 12g-18g, hard solder paste, a cup burr (which was quite difficult to find) Apart from these I spent bulk of my budget at the Metallaferous booth buying textured metal, chain, bracelet blanks and a locket and at the Parawire booth buying (yes) more wire and 5 in 1 texturing hammer which has been on my list for 3 years now.
I also bought some UV resin to try as my students keep asking me about it, some casted metal for coloring and really cool enamel headpins which was my “best buy”. The Artist was selling it for just a dollar a bunch on Sunday afternoon as end of show special. On the last day, I finally gave in and bought some beetle wings and Afghan coins. My mom has been behind my life to get myself some swarovski or cubic zirconia earrings that look like solitaires and not wanting to disappoint her I finally found some luscious earrings with Cubic Zirconia (mine look like solitaries and hers are snowflakes) for the both of us. Also, my parents were getting our apartment painted while I was away and in the middle of all that chaos my mom lost her new (aka my old phone) and was extremely upset. So I got her some swarovski pearls because I was feeling really bad for her and put away some cash for a new phone.
What is a good haul post without some freebies thrown in? I got awesome swag from the Ice resin booth – you guys are the best !! and some really yummy beads made by Lori Schneider who along with Robin Showstack were my roommates for a couple of days. It was so much fun being with them.
Out of the three beads, the beetle is my favourite (the hieroglyphics beads is the back of the beetle) and I am so happy to have some really cool artisan beads that I can use for challenges and contests.
That concludes my account of my Shopping in USA. I realize that I have been incredibly slow in posting about my trip and even when I do, its not in the right order. But then, with one infection after the other, I am all wiped out. All my energy is spent on just preparing for class and getting there on time, that I just don’t feel like doing anything else. Finally I made some Jewelry the past weekend for the BNB “A day at the beach” Challenge – Beach sparkle necklace and Color pops necklace. Do check them out and like them to vote for me
I hope you found it interesting